Masking Is Our Only Answer

South Korea, Taiwan, Beijing and Hong Kong have weathered the coronavirus far better than other countries. On a per capita basis, these countries and cities had more than 100 times as many Wuhan visitors as New York City or Milan. But they’ve each done an outstanding job of controlling the virus. So, what has really worked in these five places as well as in China, which has put a tight lid on COVID-19? The answer is in plain sight from pictures of daily life in the five success stories: People wear masks. And they do so with complete discipline. More

Goodman: Has Liberalism Lost Its Mind?

Although liberals often talk about helping the poor and reducing inequality, their most cherished reforms these days would tax the poor and subsidize the rich – making inequality worse than it otherwise would have been. Consider three ideas that are at the top of the mainstream liberal policy agenda: Medicare buy-in for young seniors, free college education and making it easier for workers (especially public employees ) to unionize. It’s hard to think of an agenda that is less progressive in the original meaning of the word. More

Five Financial Secrets to Surviving the Greatest Depression

Forbes

Here is the most important: Cut Your Spending and Tap Your Retirement Account Assets. Suppose you expect to be furloughed or laid off for the next two years. Using Prof. Laurence Kotlikoff’s one-of-its-kind life time financial planning software ( https://maxifiplanner.com/), you can adjust your annual spending downward by an appropriate amount and make two withdrawals from your IRA to tide you over. The CARES act lets you do this without penalty. More

Barry Asmus, RIP

Barry Asmus, who died March 30, 2020, studied at Montana State University, where he was mentored by economists at PERC, the Property and Environment Research Center. He picked up his appreciation of the free market from them (Richard Stroup was his thesis adviser). While Barry didn’t enter the environmental field, he became an advocate for the free market.

Study: Government Will Take Almost Half of Your Lifetime Income

In addition to the federal income tax and all its special provisions, there are 42 separate state income tax systems. Then there are more than 30 different federal entitlement programs (most of which are state specific), including Medicaid, Obamacare, TAFDC, SNAP, Housing Assistance, Child Care Assistance, and Energy Assistance, etc. Here’s the bottom line from Prof. Kotlikoff: the average household in this country can expect to keep about 57 cents out of every dollar of earnings. When you earn a dollar, you are only earning a little more than half of that dollar for yourself. The rest of the dollar will go to the government. More

Goodman on COVID: Deregulation is Saving Lives

Forbes

Regulations that lock down the economy are killing people. Deregulation is saving them. That’s the theme of several research projects at the GIPPR. It’s also the theme of John Goodman’s latest post at Forbes. Governmental bodies are repealing laws, suspending regulations, and ignoring previous restrictions that impeded the ability of the private sector to act. They are liberating doctors, nurses, drug manufacturers, test makers, makers of personal protective equipment, etc., to do things that were illegal to do only a few months ago. More

Gorman: US Hospitals are Safer

Gorman: US Hospitals are Safer

A frequent criticism of US hospitals is the charge of excessive adverse medical events,  sometimes leading to avoidable deaths. How do our hospitals compare to hospitals in national health care systems? Quite well. The percent of patients who experience an adverse event is twice as high in Canada, three times as high in Britain and four times as high in New Zealand. More

Study: Liberate Prescription Drugs

Forbes

The mainstream media had a field day condemning Donald Trump for promoting off-label uses of prescription drugs to treat the coronavirus. So what do you expect to happen when a drug is “proven”? Did you know that “approved” drugs work only half the time? What about “unproven” drugs? Did you know that as many as one in five drugs in use in the United States has been prescribed for an off-label purpose? Roughly one-half of all cancer patients are relying on off-label prescriptions. Much of what doctors know they learn by trial and error – outside of FDA tests. More.

Kotlikoff: Back to work in Two Weeks

First, test everybody – the healthy and the sick. The “healthy” may be infected and asymptomatic, yet still spreading the virus. Hence, testing the “healthy” can help us quarantine those who are infected but so far asymptomatic. Second, the “healthy” who test negative can be allowed to return to work, attend school, shop, frequent restaurants, etc. Group testing makes this practical. More.

Kotlikoff: How Social Security is Conning Seniors

Forbes

Social Security has a policy of calling people close to 70 and making them an “offer” to start their benefits retroactively. Doing so saves Social Security money but hurts the recipients, who lose thousands of dollars of life time benefits. The bribe comes packaged with suggestions that if they die they won’t get their checks, so why not grab six months of benefits for sure. More.